Beach scuffles caused by drop-ins are nothing new. Since unwritten laws about wave rights came to be, men have been battling on the sand (and sometimes in the soup) to defend their honor.
Of late, this kind of activity seems to have become more prevalent on the Gold Coast – enough so that police are spooked. The most public (and high-profile) example in recent vintage was Jeremy Flores and Sunny Garcia throwing down with a man named Adam Clarke in the Burleigh shore break. Then, around a month ago, a clip popped up on Vimeo that showed a body boarder and a surfer punching on at D’Bah (see above, starting at 1:30). The title of the clip, ‘Just another day at D-Bah’, is perhaps telling of local opinion. Maybe. And at the core of the problem? Experienced surfers competing for waves with learners or visitors who might not be aware of surf conduct and curtesy.
So, how are police responding to a problem that’s been around forever but has only recently scooped any attention? Early-morning patrols around Snapper and D-Bah, as well as mounted patrols between Rainbow and Kirra. According to Goldcoast.com, Coolangatta Police Senior Sergeant Mark Johnston said his officers are patrolling the surf spots to show a presence and prevent problems.
Read the Stab Magazine’s full article, here.